MIAMI (CBSMiami) — There are grave new warnings about climate change and how quickly sea levels are rising around the globe.
Scientists have found Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting faster than they had thought and coastal cities including Miami Beach are preparing.
Austin Blackmon is the Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space in Boston. He says you can tell that sea levels are higher – not just in coastal storms but right downtown.
“There’s one portion of the city called Morrissey Boulevard that used to flood once, maybe twice a year, now we’re starting to see it much more frequently than that,” said Blackmon.
A new Rutgers University study shows sea levels could rise up to four feet by the end of the century.
Boston is taking steps now to protect against worsening storms, backing up street lights and traffic signals with solar power and supporting new building designs.
“Hospitals have to operate 24/7 even when they’re being exposed to extreme weather,” said John Messervy with Partners Healthcare.
He showed crews around the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital that sits on Boston Harbor.
“We raised the ground floor up to the 500-year flood level and built up from there,” said Messervy.
Back in South Florida, experts say Miami Beach and the Florida Keys could begin to vanish by 2100.
On Miami Beach, projects to add pumping stations and raise roads and seawalls across the city are already underway to combat current flooding issues.
In Boston, coastal development is big business, so sustainable real estate developers say these new designs are crucial
“We need to understand that if first floors are going to be floodable how does that change how we use them,” said Sustainable Real Estate Consultant Brian Swett.
A study by Nature Climate Change shows up to 13 million people along U.S. coasts could be displaced by the end of this century because of rising sea levels. It shows everywhere from Florida to California to New York need to make plans for higher water levels.